The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

F is for...


There are many ghost towns in Arizona, most of them barely recognizable on the landscape. One that is not a far drive for us is Fairbank. Fairbank, in it's day, was a town every bit as important as Tombstone or Tucson, because it was the railhead for this part of Arizona. It was centrally located to numerous mines and ore processing mills, and was a fairly good sized town for it's time. Of course, nowadays everyone knows the town of Tombstone, which has long been an important tourist destination. But very few people know that without Fairbank and it's railway, Tombstone would not have become as important as it was.

Nowadays there are only a few of Fairbank's buildings still standing. Most of the ruins were destroyed when a state highway was built through the old center of town. The few buildings that remain are not safe to enter, especially as they have become a home for snakes and other desert dwellers.

The town itself was not finally abandoned until sometime in the 1940's. Up until then there were a few families that still hung on to the old homesteads. Nowadays the only person who lives there is a volunteer with the Bureau of Land Management. The buildings are being restored, however, as time and funds permit. Just this year the old schoolhouse was reopened as a bookstore and museum. A list is maintained there of all recent bird, reptile, and wildlife sitings. I was particularly enamored of an entry that read "smushed lizard".

Up until a few years ago, visitors could wander through the old post office and it's adjacent offices. Now the building is roped off because the walls are in danger of collapsing. Hopefully the building can be saved and restored to it's former glory.

Before we hit the road again, potty stop, anyone? Watch out for the rattlesnakes and scorpions.

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Blogger Margene said...

It looks so interesting and it's great to hear the town is being restored.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

The white at the windows - boards? Surely not curtains.

Wonderfully weathered old buildings. Do they have much trouble with treasure hunters diggin up trash piles? Another reason to watch where you step - those folks don't always fill in the holes.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

fantastic informative F post. Love the potty stop.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

Great F post.

I've been there but I missed the potty.....

5:42 PM  
Blogger purple-power said...

Love the photos on your blog. I'm glad I found you.

8:31 PM  
Blogger thegabbyknitter said...

What a cool place and how great that they are restoring it little by little.

3:05 PM  
Blogger danielle said...

So much of our countries history is being forgotten or paved over. It is sad. There is so much to learn from these ghost towns....so much that isnt in the history books. And out here in CA the Terminatory is trying to close some of our state parks to save some pennies (my rant is on my blog! LOL). Thanks for the pix...

10:39 AM  

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